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Nanjing Duck Quartet

Inspired by my roller coaster journey of spending two days cooking Nanjing Duck: a signature roast duck dish of my hometown Nanjing, which is also the ancestor of Peking/Beijing Duck.



Guqin, Suona (both are Chinese traditional instruments), Alto Sax, Piano, Cello and a Taiko drum

Plug-ins: East West libraries; Logic Pro sound libraries

It's a work in progress.

Beyond the linear storytelling of this cooking marathon, I’m most interested in evoking the collectively shared experience among people. This piece is about nostalgia—looking into the memory and past. It’s about people with international identities searching for familiarities in foreign countries. It’s also about deep appreciation of the food we grew up eating.


In addition, I paid attention to the qualities and properties of sounds themselves. For me, the staccato plucking on the Guqin sounds pointy and sharp, but somehow satisfying like an arrow let fly; the cello, saxophone, and piano play in legato unison evokes the feeling of rubbing lard on rough skin. Though people respond to these sounds in various ways, I hope to open up possibilities for more sensory and emotional experiences by drawing attention to these sounds.


Moreover, I plan to use this piece as the narrative and backdrop for potentially a multi-sensory physical theatre performance. I intend to make this piece 40min long, allowing me to finish the last step of the recipe for the duration of the performance. Ideally, everybody gets to share some ducks after the show.


Ultimately, I see this piece as a small "water drop" that reflects bigger themes.

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